Grad School: To Be or Not To Be

That is the question. You have just finished 4+ years of undergrad psychology and economics classes and you are about to venture into the “real world”, but do you stay or do you go? Both options can be tempting and for different reasons. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each option.

To Be

A break from loans

You’ll get a break from paying back student loans for 1-2 more years if you decide on grad school due to automatic deferment from being enrolled in a program, or forbearance options.

More choices down the track

You will have a wider scope of career prospects upon graduating, or a pay raise in your current position based on educational collateral. A graduate degree is a bonus for employers, often regardless of the subject area, because it shows ambition, drive, and character.

A possible discount

You may be eligible for a discount on tuition if your current job offers a tuition reimbursement program, which is something you can inquire about with your Human Resources office. Some employers may even offer to pay for a graduate degree if it is a requirement for a position you have your eye on.

More knowledge and skills

It will further your knowledge related to your current position to better perform your job duties, and to be a resource for others that you work with. Yet another reason that your job may offer to pay for your degree, or at least a chunk of it.

You love learning?

If you love to learn, then the time and money it will take to do so is worth it to you.

Nemo / Pixabay

Not to Be

You need a change

You are burnt out. At this point you have likely been a student for nearly 20 years and maybe you are just ready to be done with that chapter of your life. If this is the case you can also wait a few years and see if the desire hits you later on.

More debt

It is not financially viable for you. Grad school is most likely $20,000+ to tack on to your existing student loan debt which is understandably a burden, and one that can be avoided.

You’re already on track

You are happy with where you are in life and in your career, and you do not feel that getting an advanced degree will enrich your life or placement in any way.

Not the right time

The thought of returning to school gives you instant anxiety. If it is going to stress you out to the point that other areas of your life will suffer, then maybe it is not for you. Your health, both mental and physical, comes first.

Decision Time!

Have you made a decision? Most likely the answer is “no” but hopefully you are able to put things into perspective to make the choice that best makes sense for you. While a graduate degree is an asset, and sometimes a necessity, it is not for everyone and that is perfectly okay. Do what best fits in with your life and your goals.

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